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Vanagon Transmission Basics

Vanagon Transmission Basics

The Volkswagen Vanagon was known by many names, but in the US it was the Vanagon. The Vanagon transmission was available in both a manual and an automatic version. Although it is generally true that a manual transmission is more durable and reliable than an automatic, with the Vanagon transmission, the opposite was actually true.

The Vanagon transmission, up until the first model of the 1990’s, had a flaw in the manual version that made it prone to problems. The transmission had a tendency to get stuck between the third and fourth gears due to a problem with the synchro slider hub. In the models built in 1989 that hit the market in 1990, the problem was fixed, but by 1992 the Vanagon was no longer in production.

The Vanagon transmission came in a 4-speed manual or a 3-speed hydraulic automatic version. The improvements in the later version of the manual Vanagon transmission included a change from an aluminum case to a cast iron case. Although the new generation of manual transmission was tougher, the Vanagon didn’t last long.

Today older models are often prime candidates for Vanagon transmission rebuilds or swaps as enthusiasts who love Volkswagens and the classic Vanagon bring them back to life. Vanagon parts are widely available and the popularity of the classic Volkswagen van is back on the rise as it develops retro appeal. The Vanagon transmission continues to be an issue in manual models, so those looking to drive them again either rebuild or replace the transmissions.

Replacing or rebuilding a Vanagon transmission requires some skill, but plenty of hobbyists and mechanics are willing to take the project on for interested parties. If you have an old Vanagon suffering from transmission issues, consider a repair job that could get your classic VW back on the road and running smoothly again.

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